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on Nov 30, 2011 in Wildlife Photography

Snow is a Great Stage

Winter is coming and hopefully with it, lots of the white stuff. Snow is a marvelous background or stage for photographing wildlife in so many ways. One that I recently pointed out is its great light bouncing qualities. It makes shooting critters anytime of the day a no-brainer. Next, it cleans up the world so nicely, making lots of the natural world’s clutter disappear. One of its greatest gifts though is its ability to set the stage for our photograph.

There is no body who sees a photograph of white sweeping across the landscape who won’t know it’s snow. That in itself is huge! Talk about easy story telling, put the white stuff in there and you can say it’s winter in a heartbeat. And with it being white, anything you stick on it will visually pop without any problem. That’s huge too! The three photos here, the Coyotes in Yellowstone, Polar Bear on the edge of the Beauford Sea or Dall Sheep in the Yukon territory demonstrate this. The “subject” in each one of these photos gets smaller and smaller yet, you can’t help but to see them. You don’t need long glass to make these types of images come to life. You’ve just got to see them and get past having frame filling subjects but let the whole world into the frame.

This brings up for many I’m sure the question of exposure. There is some really old, really bad advice out there on this topic but like anything photographic, YOU must find what works best for you. Personally, when shooting snow I don’t automatically do anything with my metering. Using modern cameras with meters connected to computers, I don’t find an issue so it comes back down to what it is you want to communicate. I’ve written about this before, if you wanna find out more, head here. The biggest trick of all if simply getting out in the snow because once there, the whole winter wonderland opens up and the photographs seem to be endless!